Charles “Chuck” Homme passed away peacefully at home in Graceville, MN, on Monday, October 10, 2022, at the age of 85.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at Graceville Community Center in Graceville, MN. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 1, at Graceville Community Center from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Burial will be at Mound Grove Cemetery in Evansville, MN.
Chuck was born in Melby, MN, on December 12, 1936, to Knute and Clara (Carlson) Homme. He was the third of six children and the first-born son. The family settled in Evansville, MN, where Chuck attended school, learned how to hunt, fish and tell tall tales. These skills would last him a lifetime. After completing eighth grade, he left school and worked as a farm hand.
At 17 years old, he convinced his parents to allow him to enlist in the U.S. Navy. On March 9, 1954, he was sworn in and started his boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Station, where he earned his high school diploma. While in the Navy, he served on several different ships, but the one he was most proud of was the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea CVA-43. Chuck served for almost four years and was honorably discharged on October 11, 1957.
On July 19, 1958, Chuck and Kay Margaret Erfert were united in marriage. They were blessed with five children: three boys and two girls.
During his career, he held several different jobs, everything from farm hand to manufacturing assembler. He finally found his true calling as a heavy equipment operator, which he worked at for over 25 years. There was never a piece of yellow equipment that he hadn’t operated, but he was best known for his skill on a tracked excavator and backhoe.
Chuck retired due to a career ending injury in 1992 and Kay retired in 1996. From this date on, they traveled the country. They spent the summers in Alaska, where they enjoyed the wildness of the state, hunting, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors. Chuck couldn’t wait to dip net for salmon and hunt caribou and moose. The rest of the family would benefit from Chuck’s skill of filling his tags. They started their second career operating a remote logistics camp located at Kavik River on the North Slope of Alaska. They spent six summers and one winter at the camp….as well as surviving a plane crash. During this time, they also started volunteering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and then U.S. Fish and Wildlife. In all, Chuck had 10,000 volunteer hours for U.S. Fish and Wildlife. He was in high demand due to his experience and skill with heavy equipment and therefore they were able to go to any refuge they wanted. He received his government sharpshooting certification, allowing him to shoot feral animals on refuges. One year he was asked to shoot wild hogs on Blackbeard Island, Georgia, and if you were lucky enough to hear his story more than once, you may have picked up on the fact that he got more hogs each time the story was told.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Kay of 64 years; five children: Greg (Kathy) Homme of Arlington, MN; Wade Homme of Sinclair, WY; Kim (Anthony) Gregg of Shakopee, MN; Cindy (Tim) Knutson of Prior Lake, MN; and Troy Homme of Rochester, MN; his sister, Betty Lou Cravens of Elbow Lake, MN; eleven grandchildren (Grandpa Chuck must have had a poor memory because he gave each one a nickname that he could remember): Chris “Scooby” Dibb, Shaun “Whistleberry” Homme, Melissa “Scooter” Rosenfeld, Branden “Herman” Homme, Tabatha “Smiley” Homme, Ryan “Oscar” Knutson, Nathan “Milhouse” Parker, Ashley “Scooch” Homme, Mickayla “Penelope” Knutson, Dylan “Ole” Homme, Emily “Lena” Knutson; eleven great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Chuck is preceded in death by his parents, Knute and Clara Homme; siblings: Dennis Homme, JoAnn Hassel, Patricia Thill, and Tommy Homme; sister-in-law, Judy Homme; brother-in-law, Donny Cravens; nephews: Damon Thill and Eric Kath; and twin infant nieces: Courtney and Bethany.